6 fetuses identified at Detroit Funeral Homes under criminal investigation

Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 18:20:23-04

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says six fetuses have been identified at the shuttered Cantrell Funeral Home, and they’ve spoken with three parents in those cases.  

A full-term baby’s body was also found with the remains, but has not been identified. Craig says a lack of records is making the ongoing investigation difficult. 

Earlier this month 11 fetuses were found hidden above a lowered ceiling at Cantrell and other remains were found later. 

A few days later, tip led police to the Perry Funeral home where they found 36 fetuses in unrefrigerated cardboard boxes and another 27 in freezers.

Funeral home operators can be charged with a misdemeanor if they hold remains for more than 60 days and charged with a felony if they hold them more than 6 months. 

We have also learned that state inspectors don’t do a thorough review of records remains during inspections.  And they haven’t made any referrals for criminal charges in Detroit in the last 5 years. 

As we also reported this week, Michigan has only 3 inspectors for 750 funeral homes statewide with 35 of those in Detroit.

Governor Rick Snyder would not discuss this earlier this week.  Chief Craig said today, “I’m not going to be critical of that agency. Just do the math you look at 750 locations with 3 inspectors they are reactive and not proactive.  “Again, not a criticism, that would be like if I had 3 homicide investigators handling homicides in Detroit.”

Chief Craig says a task force of his department, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, State Police, the Attorney General and FBI will go live on Monday to continue the investigation.